Farida Khanum was born in Calcutta and raised in Amritsar’ she is the younger sister to famed classical singer, Mukhtar Begum.
At age seven, she commenced her musical lessons (basic “Khayaals” and “Thumris”) under the tutelage of her elder sister Mukhtar
Begum, and followed that with extensive coaching from Ustad Ashiq Ali Khan, the stalwart of the famed Patiala Gharana (Dynasty).
She started her public performances in 1950, a musical gathering which also featured, established vocalists, Zeenat Begum and Iqbal
Initial focus centered on classical and semi classical music, she then branched out into film soundtracks, and at times specifically, in
that epic track “Sajjan Laagi Torey Aggun” from the film “Baji” in 1963, was possibly the finest vocalist in the country. Film playback career was
however short lived and she resorted to the classical style of singing, performing at exclusive gatherings purely for the passion of music.
Additionally, her signature songs became, “Aaj Jane Ki Zid Na Karo”, “Maine Pairon Mein Payal”.
Subsequently, critics awarded her the title of “Malika-e-Ghazal” (Queen of Ghazal) a just response to her singing talents and crowning
that in 2005, when she was awarded the Hilal-e-Imtiaz, the country’s highest civil honour.
Farida Khanum lives in Lahore, Punjab and continues to perform, at select musical gatherings.
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